SnapFiction: Struggle of a Stock Photo Buyer

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and meant for entertainment purposes only!

Meet Steven Miller. Miller works for a lifestyle blog that focuses on trending topics. His boss wants him to write an article on millennials and the outdoors. Snap is excited about the project, but the deadline is in 24 hours. He needs #authentic stock photos. And fast.

Miller does what any first time buyer would do. He types " wilderness stock photos" into Google and clicks on the first result. This will be a piece of cake! he thinks to himself. Little does he know that he is about to embark on a seemingly endless and fruitless search into the world of stock photography.

Alright, Miller thinks, I need an image of someone standing alone in the wilderness. He types "wilderness" into the anonymous stock photography search bar and hits enter. A barrage of photos appear, "Showing 100 out of 4,000 images for 'wilderness'" the page reads. Miller sighs and begins to scroll.

Photo by:  Blake Bronstad  (Steven Miller grew a mustache, don't question it)

Photo by: Blake Bronstad (Steven Miller grew a mustache, don't question it)

Hmm, he thinks, this image has potential... but wait, haven't I seen this exact photograph five times on other stock photo sites? He shakes his head and clicks to the next page. He finds another potential image, but it is so obviously posed and "stocky" that it seems wrong to use it.

 After several more hours of scrolling, Miller discovers what he thinks is the perfect photo for his article. Yes finally time to purchase! he thinks to himself. He clicks to purchase button and freezes... his blood runs cold.  This is way out of a lifestyle blogger's budget!  Miller exhales and puts his head down in defeat.

Photo by:  Diego Cervo

Photo by: Diego Cervo

Steven Miller does what anyone would do in a time of crisis. He calls in backup, in the form of his fellow lifestyle blogger Wallace. 

The two grab some caffeine and put their heads together for a last minute brainstorm.

"All we need," Miller says, "Is authentic, affordable photos that fit our idea."

Wallace laughs, "That's impossible! If something that good existed stock photo companies would be out of a job."

MIller laughs at Wallace's antics and says, "Even better, what if we could make a request for a specific photo, and photographers respond, that would be ideal."

Photo by:  Melanie Riccardi  (Miller and Wallace have the all denim thing down)

Photo by: Melanie Riccardi (Miller and Wallace have the all denim thing down)

"Wait a minute," Wallace sits up, "My buddy has been using a site like that recently, some kind of photo request system where you can detail what you want and people submit their photos for selection." 

"What, well what's it called?" Miller exclaims.

"Snapwire!" Wallace says.

Miller quickly and excitedly types "snapwire" into the search engine.

"Wallace! You've done it!" Miller exclaims, "This is exactly what I was looking for!" 

Photo by:  Andrew Kearns  (Steven Miller's winning photo!)

Photo by: Andrew Kearns (Steven Miller's winning photo!)

"I'm glad I could be of assistance." Wallace smiles, and returns to his desk to write about the dying of traditional stock photo industry and the uprise of instagram.

Miller efficiently types up a creative brief asking Snapwire's users for a solitary person in the wilderness representing authentic living. He sets the timeline for 24 hours and writes the article in the meantime. When he returns to purchase his photo, he has several beautiful, unique images that are exactly what he is looking for. He purchases one and publishes it in his article. The article receives over 10k shares and as a result, Steven Miller is promoted to head his department. He continues to use Snapwire for all of his stock photography purchases, and converts the entire blog readership into Snapwire users as well.